Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan & other topics – Daily Briefing (15 June 2021)

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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan & other topics – Daily Briefing (15 June 2021)” – below is their description.

    Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

    Highlights:

    – Yemen

    – Syria

    – Afghanistan

    – Lebanon

    – Venezuelan Refugees

    – Domestic Workers/Report

    – E-Waste/Child Health

    – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

    YEMEN

    Martin Griffiths, the Special Envoy for Yemen, gave his final briefing in that post to the Security Council today. He stressed that a nationwide ceasefire would have undeniable humanitarian value and that the continued closure of Sana’a airport and the port of Hudaydah are unjustifiable and must end.

    Mr. Griffiths said that he has learned during his three years on the job that leaders in Yemen have come close to choosing peace over war but, time and time again, when one side is ready to compromise, the other side is not. He said that Yemen needs an inclusive political process and settlement and warned that time is not on Yemen’s side, with foreign interference having grown and not diminished.

    Mark Lowcock, whom Mr. Griffiths will shortly replace as Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that May was the deadliest month this year for civilians, with 60 civilians killed. He said the Ansar Allah offensive in Marib continues to threaten millions of people and he called once more for a nationwide ceasefire and for the parties to spare civilians and civilian objects.

    He noted the work humanitarians have done to prevent famine in Yemen but added that two brushes with famine in the last three years are not a success.

    SYRIA

    The UN is very concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation of 13.4 million people in Syria following a decade of conflict, as well as an economic crisis and COVID-19.

    The situation is particularly dire in north-west Syria, where more than 90 per cent of the 3.4 million people in need are facing extreme or catastrophic need. That is particularly the case for the 2.7 million internally displaced people along the border with Turkey.

    The only way we can reach these millions of people is through the UN Security Council-authorized cross-border operation. The Bab al-Hawa crossing is the UN’s remaining entry point for delivering assistance to north-west Syria.

    The assistance we deliver through the cross-border operation, including critical food, livelihood, nutrition and health assistance, reaches an average of 2.4 million Syrians each month; that’s around 1,000 aid trucks crossing the border each month. Cross-border assistance comprises roughly half of all humanitarian assistance to north-west Syria.

    As the Secretary-General has stressed, a large-scale cross-border response for an additional 12 months is essential to save lives. There is no alternative. The Security Council’s current authorization for the UN cross-border operation expires on 10 July.

    AFGHANISTAN

    The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that in Afghanistan, five health workers were killed, and four others injured in five separate attacks today in Nangarhar Province. These attacks took place on people who were conducting a polio vaccination campaign. In March, three health workers also lost their lives during the national polio vaccination campaign in Nangarhar Province.

    The UN expresses its deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these health workers and wishes those who are injured a swift recovery.

    These attacks come just a week after 11 staff members working for the Halo Trust NGO demining operation were killed in an incident in Baghlan Province, and that left 15 others of their colleagues injured.

    The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Ramiz Alakbarov, said that he is appalled by the brutality of these killings. He stressed that the delivery of health care is impartial and any attack against health workers and those who work to defend them is an attack on the children, whose very lives we are trying to protect.

    As a direct result of these attacks, the national polio vaccination campaign, which began yesterday, has been suspended in the eastern region of Afghanistan, and that is depriving millions of children of protection against this preventable disease.

    The parties to the conflict must protect civilians, aid workers and civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, in compliance with international humanitarian law.

    Full Highlights: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/noon-briefing-highlight?date%5Bvalue%5D%5Bdate%5D=15%20June%202021

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